Our researchers have conducted hundreds of hours of focus groups and in-depth interviews with teachers from across the country over the past seven years. We discovered that highly effective teachers—those who make extraordinary academic gains with students—consistently discuss four themes when describing their practices:
- Building relationships
- Creating a stable environment
- Holding high expectations
- Supporting continuous improvement
While each dimension represents a different perspective about what is important, all four are essential for overall instructional and leadership effectiveness.
Making the Connection
What we learned from our research is that: Great educators understand their strengths, appreciate all four quadrants, and thoughtfully connect their actions to all of them.
We used what we learned to adapt an effectiveness model that has been used worldwide for decades: the Competing Values Framework. Created by Dr. Robert Quinn, a highly respected researcher from the University of Michigan, this framework explains four dimensions of effectiveness and identifies tensions that exist in all organizations. Working with Dr. Quinn, we created the BFK•Connect Framework, which captures how these dimensions present themselves in schools at the classroom, building, and district levels.